On Friday, November 3, 2023, Melba Beare (nee Perks) passed away in Meaford at the age of 103.
Melba was born near Ogema, Saskatchewan on February 21, 1920. She was the sixth of nine children born to Walter Perks Sr. and Laura (nee Govette) Perks. Only the oldest, a son Joe and the youngest, a daughter June were born in Meaford, the seven others were born after the family moved to south-eastern Saskatchewan and before their return to Meaford. The years in the West were not easy and the years after spent at the family farm on the Seventh Line north overlooking Sunnyside Beach with access to the Bay, the fruit orchards, and visits to Mountain Lake must have been refreshing compared to rural Saskatchewan. This property is still held by family members. Melba was predeceased by each of her siblings as well as their spouses, four brothers; Joseph (May Major), Walter Jr. (Rose Doran), Hugh (Jean Knight), David (Faye Almond) and four sisters; Doreen (Richard Doran), Harriet (James Ireland), Mae (Floyd Rowe) and June (Earl Adams).
Melba married Ronald Beare, whose family lived in Owen Sound and had a cottage property on North Georgian Beach, in January 1942. After W.W.II Ron and Mel went to southern Ontario and found work in Brantford. Her closest sisters, Harriet and Mae and their spouses joined them living close by so the three couples could work, raise their families and share responsibilities. Ron and Mel had two children Rhonda (1949) and Alan (1956). Harriet’s husband died in 1955 leaving her to raise her daughter Glenna (1945) and son, Matthew (1954). Mae and her husband had a son, Kerry (1951). Frequent trips back to their families, all riding in a dump truck, Ron driving the children in the cab and the adults in the back along with a load of whatever they needed. When Mae’s family moved to Bancroft in the late fifties, additional trips were made there, but by then we all rode in style in an oversize sedan towing the “African Queen”, loaded with everything requested. In the late seventies Mel and Ron semi-retired to Bancroft and pursued several successful new ventures with nephew Matt Ireland (Donna Ward) along with Mae and Floyd Rowe and brother Dave. They continued to go south to Florida each winter, buying property in Bonita Springs where Melba continued to winter until 2007. By then she was living on Georgian Beach with her daughter and son-in-law.
Melba was predeceased by her son, Alan (1988), her husband, Ron (1998) and nephew, Matt Ireland (2020). Melba’s special connection with Matt and Donna, their son, Jamie Ireland (Lee Anne Sicker), Bancroft and their daughter, Jennifer Ireland (Moritz Sitte), Switzerland and grandsons Nolan Ireland and Sebastien Sitte continued. As well as with Matt’s sister, Glenna Ireland and her son Garnet Renning, Victoria, BC, and Rhonda Talbot (nee Renning) and husband Brad, Kelowna, BC.
She survived by her daughter, Rhonda and husband Chris Emerson and their daughter, Christine McLaren (Scott) of Burford, granddaughters Janis McLaren (Derek Dean), Paris, Carrie Baldwin (Kyle) their children, Drumbo, and Diane Sibbick (Jordan) their children, Burford and their son, Tony and grandson Anthony Emerson of Palmer Rapids and granddaughter, Samantha Emerson of Sault Ste. Marie. She is also survived by the numerous nieces and nephews, their spouses, the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of her eight siblings and those of her in-laws.
We will respect Melba’s wishes. Cremation has taken place and a private celebration of her life will be planned when the weather improves and the folks at a distance can make arrangements.
As your expression of sympathy, donations to the Canadian Cancer Society or Meaford Hospital Foundation would be appreciated and may be made through the Ferguson Funeral Home, 48 Boucher St. E., Meaford, ON N4L 1B9 to whom arrangements have been entrusted. www.fergusonfuneralhomes.ca
Make a donation in memory of Melba Yvonne BeareDonations: Meaford Hospital Foundation or the Canadian Cancer Society
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